The Museum closed on September 5, 2006 for major architectural renovations and is scheduled to reopen by summer 2008
The National Museum of American History dedicates its collections and scholarship to inspiring a broader understanding of our nation and its many peoples. We create learning opportunities, stimulate imaginations, and present challenging ideas about our country's past.
The Museum collects and preserves more than 3 million artifacts. We take care of everything from the original Star-Spangled Banner and Abraham Lincoln's top hat to Dizzy Gillespie's angled trumpet and Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Our collections form a vast and fascinating mosaic of American life.
Our exhibitions explore major themes in American history and culture, from the War of Independence to the present day. The Museum's latest permanent exhibition, The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, surveys the history of U.S. military conflicts and examines ways in which wars have been defining episodes in American history. America on the Move immerses visitors in the sights, sounds, and sensations of transportation in the United States from 1870 to the present. Other popular exhibitions that have drawn literally tens of millions of visitors to the Museum over many years include The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden, Within These Walls . . ., First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image, and Field to Factory: Afro-American Migration 1915'1940. An array of temporary and traveling exhibitions offer visitors something new on almost every visit.
The Museum hosts a full roster of public programs, from demonstrations, lectures, and tours to storytelling and festivals. Music programs offer performances by chamber music ensembles, a jazz orchestra, gospel choirs, folk and blues artists, Native American singers, dancers, and more. In the Hands On Science Center, visitors can use lasers to see the light, unravel the mysteries of DNA, and tease their minds with intelligence tests, among other activities.